"We have a window of opportunity to raise our collective voices to ensure that health, rights, and the dignity of women and girls are central to family planning and broader development conversations."
July 11 2016 marked Family Planning 2020's (FP2020) midpoint, a moment to recognise and celebrate the progress that has been made since the 2012 London, United Kingdom (UK) Summit on Family Planning while also acknowledging the challenges that line the path to 2020. With the goal of expanding family planning (FP) use by 120 million women in economically poor countries by 2020, FP2020 is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. The participating organisations launched a communication-focused advocacy campaign at the halfway mark of the initiative to foster: reflection on what works well, discussion of how to adjust efforts for greater impact, the sharing of insights on actionable interventions to accelerate progress, and efforts to hold stakeholders accountable to the promise they made to millions of women and girls.
Beginning on July 11, FP2020 called upon partners in the initiative to mark the "midpoint moment" in their own way and within their own context to create a ripple effect throughout the community by organising conversations and action around these questions: "What have we learned as a global community since 2012? What are the biggest challenges we face on the road to 2020? And what are the greatest opportunities to accelerate progress toward the FP2020 goals [on the road to 2030 and realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals]?"
Social media is one tool being used to spread the word. People were asked to share their responses to the questions above below through opinion pieces, blog posts, social media discussions, and more, using #FP2020Progress. For example, a week-long partner blog series in response to these questions looks at one priority to accelerate progress: ensuring youth have access to quality and voluntary modern contraception. Readers were encouraged to share their own insights on actionable ways to best ensure young people have the right to plan their families and their futures. In addition, FP2020 called on young people to add their voice and perspective in the form of youth-submitted content. For example, Arshpreet Kaur of the Family Planning Association of India wrote: "As a youth educator and advocate, I talk about comprehensive sexuality education and modern reproductive health choices with youth in schools and communities because family planning doesn't mean we are planning families but it is giving us a choice to go to university, plan career and relationships. Youth leaderships is on the rise as youth leaders are taking roles at the decision table to make the lives of their peers and communities better by committing to FP2020 goals and Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve these goals, it is important to consider youth as partners, not as beneficiaries or targets."
Co-hosted by FP2020's core conveners, the UK Department of International Development (DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a live tweetchat was organised to celebrate progress, assess challenges, and highlight accountability on the road to 2020. ["Join the conversation on July 12, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST using #FP2020Progress."]
To facilitate these efforts, FP2020 created a communications toolkit [PDF] with key messages, sample social media posts, and more. In addition, social media graphics were offered for download on the FP2020 Midpoint microsite.
Family Planning, Youth
As of 2015, 290.6 million women and girls are using modern contraception in the 69 FP2020 focus countries, an increase of 24.4 million from 2012. More than 90 partners have joined the FP2020 partnership, including 38 countries. From July 2012 to July 2015, the average increase in mCPR (modern contraceptive prevalence rate) was 2 times greater among commitment-making countries than non-commitment-making countries. Population Reference Bureau research has shown that greater access to modern methods of contraception, in combination with investments in education and job creation, can put countries on a path toward a demographic dividend and greater economic growth.
Core FP2020 partners include: UK Aid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNFPA, USAID, and the United Nations Foundation.